Besides being one of the best African countries for further academic studies, South Africa offers a considerable host of scholarships for foreigners to study in its prestigious universities.

While these scholarships come under several categories, many of them are duly suitable for foreigners pursuing Master’s and doctoral degrees in disciplines that reflect the core values of the sponsors.

This article provides essential information about the top South African scholarships for foreign students in Africa.

SA-GER-CDR Masters & PhD Scholarships + Internships for African Students

This scholarship is a fully funded support scheme for sub-Saharan African students with brilliant academic records to study in South Africa and Germany. While CDR focuses on the advancement of research efforts that reflect the work of the centre, the scholarships under it can be enjoyed by students pursuing Master’s or doctoral degrees in the programmes specified by the sponsors.

Mandela Rhodes Scholarships for African Students

This academic support scheme offers scholarships to African students pursuing postgraduate degrees to study in South African universities. While the scheme aims to imbibe exceptional leadership in Africans, it also receives applications from students across Africa. According to the online portal of the scholarship scheme, successful applicants for Master’s programmes are fully funded for up to two years while those for Honours’ programmes enjoy one-year full academic funding.

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University of Pretoria MasterCard Scholarships (Masters) for African Students

This is a scheme offering postgraduate scholarships to students from all African countries with the exception of South Africa. Under the aegis of a partnership between the Mastercard Foundation (MCF) and the University of Pretoria (UP), this scheme offers scholarships to “high-achieving” African students who are capable of transforming the African continent by virtue of their attitudes, skills and knowledge.

Absa GenA Graduate Programme for Graduate Africans

This offers postgraduate students from selected African countries the chance to undergo a one-year internship programme. Scholarships into Absa’s Gen A internship are intended to support young acquisitive minds who showcase excellent EQs and IQs. The sponsors of this scholarship encourage postgraduates to not only develop the inclination to build their careers but also grow the capabilities for improving Africa’s development. African countries eligible for this scholarship scheme are Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Seychelles, Mozambique, Mauritius, Kenya, Ghana and Botswana.

University of Pretoria Scholarships for Masters in Human Rights and Democratization in Africa

Under a partnership between 12 prestigious African universities and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, this scheme offers scholarships to African students pursuing Master’s degrees. Importantly, the scholarships are awarded to qualified Law students and other qualified applicants with the minimum of Honours degrees in fields related to human rights and democratization.

Successful application for this scholarship demands demonstration of interest or experience in human rights studies coupled with exceptional academic credentials. Notably, a total of 25 applicants are awarded scholarships into an in-depth one-year course which equips them with both practical and theoretical understandings of human rights.

Machel-Mandela Fellowship Programme for Study in South Africa

Under the aegis of the Brenthurst Foundation, this scheme offers scholarships to eligible applicants from both Africa and other continents on a yearly basis. With the aim of nurturing Africa’s future leaders, the Brenthurst Foundation offers a full-time fellowship programme to deserving applicants described as holders of Master’s or undergraduate degrees coupled with excellent academic credentials. Essentially, the fellowship programme provides awardees with benefits including accommodation, comprehensive monthly stipends and chances of having their work-related expenses waivered.


We strongly believe the information above has duly provided you with insight into the leading scholarships for foreign students to study in South African universities. While all the listed scholarships are available to African students, it’s essential that potential applicants find out all the requirements for successful application.

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